Melbourne: Young opener Shafali Verma smashed a 34-ball 46 but India frittered away a solid start to post a below-par 133 for eight against New Zealand in their crucial group A match of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup here Thursday.
Invited to bat, 16-year-old Shafali once again provided the fireworks as India scored 49 for one in the powerplay overs. But they lost six wickets for 43 runs to squander the good start.
Smriti Mandhana (11), who returned to the playing XI after missing the last match due to illness, departed early when he dragged a Lea Tahuhu delivery on to the stumps in the third over.
However, Shafali and Taniya (23) kept the scoreboard ticking, adding 51 runs for the second wicket.
In the 10th over, Taniya departed after being caught by Amelia Kerr at backward point.
Jemimah Rodrigues (10) then joined Shafali as India reached 75-2 in the first 10 overs.
But Rodrigues was caught by Kerr in the 12th over when she was trying to work a ball down the leg side as India slipped to 80 for 3.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s (1) poor form continued as she was soon back to the hut after being caught and bowled by Leigh Kasperek.
Shafali, who was dropped at long-on in the 8th over and at mid-wicket in the 10th over, then ran out of luck as she holed out to Hayley Jensen at deep extra cover off Kerr.
The 16-year-old opener had four hits to the fence and three maximum shots in her innings.
Left-handed batter Deepti Sharma (8) and Veda Krishnamurthy (6) brought up the 100 in the 15th over but the latter was trapped infront of wicket by Kerr in the next over as India slumped to 104 for 6.
Deepti too perished in the 18th over as India’s slump continued.
Radha Yadav then blasted 14 off nine balls, which included a six in the final over, to give some respectability to the total.
India women: 133 for 8 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 46; Amelia Kerr 2/21).